MANILA – The South Korean government is augmenting its pandemic assistance to the Philippines with the upcoming donation of 539,430 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine this month.
The Korean Embassy in Manila said the donations are expected to arrive on November 30.
"The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is happy to support the Philippine government as it seeks to inoculate 15 million Filipinos during the National Covid-19 Vaccination Days from November 29 to December 1, 2021," it said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The donation is part of the joint efforts made by Korea and the Philippines to protect public health and support the local response to Covid-19 in the Philippines by vaccinating Filipino people."
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) last year, the embassy has worked closely with partners from the Philippines, both to help protect the front-liners and reduce the crisis' impact on the livelihood of affected Filipino families.
The upcoming donation brings to USD210.7 million or approximately PHP10.67 billion Korea's Covid-19 assistance to the Philippines.
About USD200 million of the amount is in the form of concessional loans to help the Philippines procure enough vaccines in 2021 and support government efforts in scaling up its Covid-19 response.
Korea's grant element in its concessional loan is at least 88.4 percent, based on the 2018 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
"It implies that the Philippines need(s) to repay only 12.6 percent and 88.4 percent will not be repaid by the Philippines. Thus, Korea's concessional loan provides very, very good terms to the Philippines," the embassy said.
Apart from the loans, Korea has donated 530,000 swab test kits, seven walk-through booths, two extraction equipment, six isolation beds, 970,000 masks, 167,000 hygiene kits, and 1,200 units of personal protective equipment.
It also distributed rice pouches to help about 365,000 Filipinos who are among the country's most vulnerable cope during the pandemic.
The Korean Embassy said at least 34 refrigerated trucks for transporting Covid-19 vaccines and four trucks for transporting vaccine-related goods are likewise scheduled for delivery in January 2022.
This year marks 30 years of the Philippines’ and Korea’s development partnership, with the latter's contribution to the country reaching USD2.1 billion in total.
Transportation infrastructure accounts for 47 percent of Korea's official development assistance (ODA) to the country at about USD982 million while disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance account for 19 percent or USD410 million, according to the embassy.
Seoul's ODA in agriculture, another priority sector, amounts to USD358 million. (PNA)